Archive for the 'Africa' Category

The Banished Pharaoh: Lessons in freedom of expression

The 11th February 2011 marked a seminal moment for the right to freedom of expression: the day Hosni Mubarak resigned from his 30 year rule, in response to the expressed will of his people.

The country has been subject to emergency law since 1967. This authorised a number of restrictions on personal freedom of assembly and movement, sanctioned the surveillance of personal messages, and permitted the confiscation of publications. Egypt’s economic climate had deteriorated with increased poverty, rising prices, social exclusion and unemployment, food price inflation and low minimum wages. Two thirds of the country’s population are under 30, with this group comprising 90% of the Egypt’s unemployed. By contrast, personal enrichment and corruption was rife amongst the political elite. Reports suggest that the former president had misappropriated up to £40 billion during his reign, more than double the estimated amount that the notorious Bernard Madoff stole using his Ponzi Scheme. Continue reading ‘The Banished Pharaoh: Lessons in freedom of expression’

Ugandan Anti-homosexuality Bill

The precarious situation of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) defenders in Uganda has been widely documented. For example, the country has criminalised homosexuality under section 145 of its Penal Code Act 1950, which punishes ‘unnatural acts’ with life imprisonment.  An even more draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill was proposed in 2009 by Parliamentarian David Bahati, a member of President Yoweri Museveni’s ruling party, the National Resistance Movement. The Bill, which clearly violated international human rights law, would have introduced the death penalty for acts of ‘aggravated homosexuality’ and criminalised the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality.

  Continue reading ‘Ugandan Anti-homosexuality Bill’


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